The Gamespot Debacle.
As of 2 A.M. (PST), Gamespot no longer has ads on their page. Under normal circumstances, I’d link to it, but I choose not to give Gamespot or Eidos any additional traffic. But it’s there (or not), if you choose to look for yourself.
As many people are aware, reviewer Jeff Gerstmann has seemingly been fired for giving a 6.0 to Eidos game Kane & Lynch. Bear in mind a “6″ isn’t horrible. Obviously, it’s not the best, but it’s above average. Why? Well, Eidos put a LOT of advertising on Gamespot’s site, promoting the game, only to have it get a so-so review. I guess Jeff didn’t appease the corporate marketing juggernaut, so it was “bye-bye” for Jeff.
Sadly, this is not the first instance of in the pocket corruption that has gone on in the industry. The difference with this one is is that it was caught and brought to attention. Hell, Capcom pulled ads from EGM for quite some time a few years back, because their reviewers didn’t go crazy over the newest revision of Street Fighter II. But then, Capcom’s retaliation didn’t get anyone fired, either.
Sadly, this goes on with the games themselves as well. Games that have some company’s “Seal of Quality” stamped all over it. But how did that God awful game with numerous bugs, crashes and issues actually make it to stores? Didn’t it go through Nintendo or Sony or Microsoft’s standards of quality? Yeah, but a little extra cash incentive helps slide some of those bad games through. You provide a big enough suitcase full of money, you can get someone to turn the other cheek.
If Gamespot was so worried about the quality of Eidos’ game risking getting a lower score from Jeff (who critics and gamers have called “foul” on for a while now given his lower score reviews), they should have given it to another reviewer. Gamespot’s worked with him for years, and they should have known what he is like by now. Seriously. Don’t give him the game, or deal with what you know his review style is. End of story. But they didn’t, and while they paid the price, Jeff paid more. Well, at least for now.
Gerstmann’s review was simply the guy’s opinion. Right or wrong. Agree or disagree. He or any reviewer are not the final end-all, set in stone voice of if they game truly is “art” or “garbage”.
To fire someone for having an opinion is stupid and wrong, and is dangerous for gaming journalism as a whole. If Gamespot did that to appease Eidos marketing, and fired Jeff due to Eidos giving a lot of marketing dollars, they are wrong. If true, Gamespot is lying to their reader base, and this makes them untrustworthy. As for Eidos, they are not the only company to ever try this, nor will they be the last.
If money means more than giving an honest view, I’m not supporting Gamespot anymore. I’m not going to support Eidos anymore, either, because I don’t want to give them the message that they can get their way by sliding some cash out on a table, and expect us to buy crap they are trying to package as gold. Want better reviews? Make a better game. Don’t know what one is? I can recommend 50 of them easily.
Gamespot and Eidos have a pretty heinous PR nightmare on their hands at this point. And it’s the consequences they have to deal with for behaving like this. You can’t misbehave forever. It catches up.
Bottom Line: Don’t support liars who condone the practice of lying to YOU and your own money.
Filed under: gaming news